Upon arrival, the center stage spent the next few weeks in the transfer channel of the VAB, and then was hoisted to the mobile launch pad to join the two solid rocket boosters already stacked in Gaowan 3.
“The entire flight unit has come together for the first time,” Sean Arrieta of NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems told Space.com in a recent interview. “We are all very excited.”
This summer, the agency’s new Orion spacecraft will dock with the SLS, and will be ready for an unmanned flight around the moon later this year as part of the Artemis 1 mission. According to the plan, officials of the agency said that the flight may be in November.
View of two NASA lunar rockets: Apollo Saturn V booster (left) and Artemis 1 space launch system central booster (right).
View of two NASA moon rockets: the Apollo Saturn V booster (left) and the Artemis 1 Space Launch System
main booster (right).
(Image source: NASA) Center stage
is the backbone of the rocket and is 212 feet (65 meters) high. Workers used a 325-ton crane to lift the central platform into the air and transfer it to a nearby elevated structure. From there, it is stacked on its mobile launch pad and between two solid 177-foot (54 m) rocket boosters. Northrop Grumman makes the
. The thruster is a longer version of a solid rocket engine that once powered the agency’s space shuttle fleet. In fact, each of these five parts performed multiple space shuttle missions before being converted for use in the SLS program.
Click here to view more videos from Space.com… The successful stacking of the
center stage is only the beginning of the process of fully assembling the rocket before launch. If everything goes according to plan, by August, we can see a complete launch system with the Orion spacecraft on top.
NASA will move the 322-foot (98-meter) rocket to platform 39B for pre-flight testing in September or October. At that point, the crew will run the launch countdown procedure and simulate refueling.
Related: NASA Launches First Giant
SLS Rocket for Moon Flight During Key Engine Test. NASA’s space launch system rocket is powered by four RS25 engines, which are manufactured by Aerojet Rocketdyne and used in space. on. NASA’s
Space Launch System rocket is powered by four RS25 engines, which were manufactured by Aerojet Rocketdyne and refitted after the space shuttle program ended.
(Image Source: NASA)
Four RS25 engines, the same ones used to power the space shuttle, will power the SLS, as well as additional propulsion from dual solid rocket boosters, generating more than 8 million pounds of thrust power. As part of a series of eco-performance tests, NASA tested an engine made by Aerojet Rocketdyne earlier this year. Test
ended the heat test at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi on March 18, repeating the same test that ended in early January. To simulate an actual launch, the engine fired and burned for more than 8 minutes while firmly fixed on the dyno.
The Space Launch System center amplifier was stacked on its mobile launch pad on June 13, prior to its launch in November. The
Space Launch System center amplifier was stacked on its mobile launch pad on June 13, prior to its launch in November. (Image Source: NASA)
This is the main activity of the spacecraft: the last major obstacle that must be cleared before launch day.
NASA expects to launch SLS and the Orion crew module on an unmanned test flight around the moon in late November.
The mission, called Artemis 1, will last more than three weeks and will pave the way for Artemis 2, which will fly around the moon with a crew of four in 2023. In addition to
, the agency plans to begin landing astronauts near the southern part of the moon with the help of a commercially developed lunar lander. In April this year, NASA selected the first lander, a version of SpaceX’s interstellar spacecraft, to send the first batch of Artemis astronauts to the moon.
in the photo: NASA’s Kennedy Space Center overhauled Launch Pad 39B for Orion
According to NASA, the rest of the assembly work should be done soon, with the November launch coming soon. The agency said the next step is to install the Launch Vehicle Stage Adapter (LVSA), and then the upper stage, called the Temporary Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS), which is a hydrogen fuel upper stage. After
, staff will install a frame to simulate Orion’s weight for further testing before installing the actual Orion in late summer.
“We are happy to finally have all the hardware in Florida,” Arietta told Space.com after hitting the main stage. “We encountered some challenges in the process, but we are confident that we can launch this year.”